Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snow, Swim, Run

Ah, snow.  Gotta say that I am not a fan of snow or ice.  Either one makes running difficult.  But together they conspire to create an impossible/impassable obstacle for an over 40 runner.  It isn't that I'm afraid of falling.  It is simply that I don't want to fall now much more than I didn't want to fall when I was in my twenties.  For some reason, falling after 40 sucks just a bit more than it did in my younger days.  So, when the ground gets slick, I put off running and hit the pool.

I got in three days of swimming this past week.  I really love the change of pace and should do it more often. But the roads and trails have their own alluring nature that calls to me as a siren does to a Greek sailor.  I have a tendency to eschew all other activities when the weather allows, lace up my kicks, and head out the door.

Yesterday, I thought I finally had a good window.  I set off for the easy 7.5mi Lecompton Interchange loop. The first 2.5mi were good, with only a couple of detours to avoid ice/snow.  But once I got farther out, I had to run in the snow-covered grass beside the path.  About 3/4 of a mile of that and I said 'eff' it - not aloud, mind you - just internally, to myself.  So the 7.5 became 6.5 with some snow and grass running thrown in.  It kicked my butt slightly.

Today was much colder, but I wanted to get in a decent run.  I put on my trail shoes (Mizunos, of course), and popped over to the river.  It took a bit of time running (about 2 mi) before I finally warmed up to where I was comfortable. The trails were frozen solid in the a.m. hours.  Every now and then I'd crunch through some bike-rutted ice packs. But mostly it was frozen ground.  On the way back I finally encountered an interesting little hill.  It was covered in ice.  I attacked it, and found the experience much like trying to go up an escalator that was moving rapidly in the other direction.

There is something about the River Trails that always buoy my spirits.  I don't know what it is.  Running through the frosty woods today felt like something out of a Disney movie.  It was like an enchanted forest -beautiful, but (due to the cold) with a slight whiff of danger (maybe).  I finished the run feeling wonderfully at ease.

This afternoon will entail a little bit of shopping for last minute Xmas items, reading, and a nap.

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